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First black African woman reaches summit of Mount Everest

Saray Khumalo became the first black African woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest on Thursday, with an elevation of 8,848m.

Khumalo, a Zambia-born Johannesburg resident, has made it safely below the South Summit but still in the death zone.

It is expected that she will make her way back to Camp 4 (C4) in the next few hours but it will be two days before she arrives at Base Camp.

This is the fourth time Khumalo has attempted the climb.  Her previous attempts were hindered by bad weather.

In 2014 she abandoned her attempt after an avalanche killed 16 sherpa and in 2015 a devastating earthquake in Nepal caused them to abandon the climb.

During her 2017 attempt she reached the South Summit but strong winds and frostbite prevented her from completing the climb.

She arrived at Base Camp on April 20, her timeline then continued as follows:

April 26 – Ascended to Capt Three but returned back to Base Camp to acclimatise.

May 12 – Left Base Camp

May 14 – Arrived at Camp Three

May 15 – Khumalo rested for a few hours at Camp Four before continuing on.

May 16 – Khumalo summits the top

Khumalo’s website reflects her passion and determination.  She wrote that it is her dream to go higher and further for as long as she can breathe as she paves the way for her children and to show that ordinary people can achieve extraordinary heights.